Politicians Bitter After U.S. Government Shutdown Was Averted

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Now that all the dust has settled from the clamor of political feet scurrying about on Capitol Hill, it leaves most Americans with one question in mind, “What the heck just happened?” Many are speculating that the whole thing was just a scam designed to make one side look stronger than the other. Now that the government shutdown has been averted, what are republicans thinking now?

One of the GOP’s top strategists warned that Republicans would pay a price if they failed to compromise. Karl Rove posted a memo on his website, http://www.rove.comwarning his party that a shutdown benefited President Clinton in 1995 and 1996, and that it would do the same for Obama.

He wrote, quote, “The shutdowns helped improve Clinton’s political standing, boosting both his approval rating and perceptions of him as a strong leader. President Obama’s ratings as a strong leader have slipped this year. Republicans should be careful not to let him recover as he gears up for his 2012 election campaign.” Isn’t it funny that on the brink of a possible shut down, the one thing that republican lawmakers were afraid of was making Obama look strong 2012, not the chaos that will ensue from a shutdown.

Republicans are keeping to the sometimes undeserved reputation as being obstructionists by the efforts they made to prolong the negotiating in an attempt to weaken Obama. Sir Walter Scott once said, “Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive”

It was a dangerous game the republicans played because most Americans wanted to avoid a shutdown. According to a poll at, http://www.gallup.com published earlier this week, 58 percent of Americans wanted leaders to reach a compromise compared to just 33 percent who said they should hold their position even if it meant a shutdown. How ironic was it that the man behind the 1995 shutdown thought a compromise should be reached. Newt Gingrich couldn’t help but take the opportunity to slam the President before a settlement had been reached at a function earlier in the week. So it would seem the million dollar question is, who won the shutdown battle? According to, http://www.redstate.com:

  • The Democrats got 99% of the spending they wanted but were afraid to put into a budget.
  • The Republicans approved the largest spending increase in history
  • The President gets to claim he brokered a deal that cut 39 billion dollars, the largest cut in history
  • Americans still think the world will come to an end if the government shuts down, and due to the hysterics of the Republican leadership they think a shutdown is a scorched earth policy that would destroy the country faster than out of control spending.
  • The republicans backed themselves in a corner. They can’t refuse to raise the debt limit after approving $3,860 Billion in spending.
  • The Ryan budget is dead in the water because every attempt to cut spending will be met with a caterwaul by Democrats accusing the irresponsible Republicans of reopening those scorched earth attacks again.
  • The President looks mature, responsible and in control.
  • Boehner looks like a school boy taken for his lunch money.

    The democrats won such a lopsided victory it is hardly likely the Republicans will win any seats in the election let alone get anything done in the next two years. The only hope is a leadership change. But it is probably too late now even for that. According to www.cnn.com, “Fresh off the debate to avoid a government shutdown, Republican Rep. Jeb Hensarling and Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin expressed cautious optimism following the resolution, while gearing up politically for the debt ceiling drama.

    Hensarling, the chairman of the House Republican Conference, explained two ways to view the budget negotiations.

    “On the one hand, this is the single largest year-to-year cut in the federal budget, frankly in the history of America in absolute terms… probably for that we all deserve medals, the entire Congress,” the Texas congressman said on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday. “Relative to the size of the problem, it is not even a rounding error. In that case we probably all deserve to be tarred and feathered.”

    Durbin said Democrats were able to protect important programs in the compromise, like early childhood education and pell grants, while making significant spending cuts.

    “At the end of the day we won the battle but we join with Republicans in cutting spending,” Durbin said.”

  • Russell W. Dickson, lives in upstate NY, and is a Freelance journalist. He has written for both print and online news/opinion pages.Russell holds a B.A. in English, minor Journalism from The University at Albany, Albany, NY. His writing experience spans more than a decade and his work has graced the pages of newspapers, magazines, online news orgs, and political websites in both the U.S. and abroad.